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About Foil Printed Wedding Stationery

Hot foil printing is everywhere and you can probably spot an example of it, if you take a look around your home. Foil printing features on the spines of books, in luxury packaging, on handles of make up brushes, and so much more. I use it to print onto paper to produce foiled wedding invitations, business stationery and greeting cards.

Semi-custom wedding invitations with a floral garden theme and dusky pink envelopes
Semi-custom wedding invitations with gold foil flowers
Semi-custom wedding invitations designs with floral illustrations and a yellow and orange colour theme

There are a number of different foil options available, not just gold and silver. I have a swatch book of all the foil choices on offer and it’s so much fun working with a client to help them choose the right foil for their job. The foils come in rolls and are available in various finishes, and optical effects. Metallic foil is most commonly seen today – particularly gold and silver, but foil rolls are also available in both glossy and matte finishes.


The foil press that I use requires each individual wedding invitation or business card to be hand pressed one at a time. It is a real labour of love and despite the repetitiveness, I really enjoy printing stationery in this way. 

About the hot foil printing process


To briefly summarise the hot foil process, I send the designs off to a plate maker who creates a metal plate that features the design on. This is known as a hot foil die. This die is then attached to my hot foil press which is then heated up. Once the press has reached the correct temperature, foil is placed between the die and the paper that I am printing onto. Pressure is then applied by me pulling the handle of the machine down. The die, foil and paper are then pressed together, allowing the foil to adhere to the paper. 


Hot foil printing is a great way to add a luxury feel to your wedding stationery. Although it’s more expensive than your typical print run, due to the handmade nature and the production of the hot foil die, the foil effect conveys a sense of luxe and extravagance that is perfect for wedding stationery or high-end boutique brands.


Printing with foil was first used to add gold to books. This process was done by hand using molten gold and as the demand for books grew so did the need for this craft. Using molten gold was very expensive so other alternatives were introduced and this is when the press I use today was created. The first patent for hot stamping was recorded in Germany in 1892 by a man named Ernst Oeser, a master bookbinder. Traditionally, to print gold text on a book cover, printers used individual letters to make up the words they wanted to print. Once the text was assembled, it was loaded into a press, which then pressed thin sheets of metallic foil into the book cover. From the 1950s onward, the method became a popular means of marking plastic goods such as TV frames, lipstick, mascara, audio components etc. It has always been considered as a luxury commodity and that remains true today. 


The history of foil printing

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